Monday 24 September 2018

Ireland needs more 'clarity' on border before Brexit talks move on - Coveney

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson looks on during a meeting with Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson looks on during a meeting with Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Gavin Cordon and Ed Carty

Boris Johnson has issued a new call for the EU to give the green light for the second phase of the Brexit negotiations to begin.

The Foreign Secretary, in Dublin for talks with his Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, said that if they were to resolve the issue of the border with Northern Ireland, they had to be able to discuss Britain's future relationship with the EU.

"Everybody recognises the unique circumstances of the border with Northern Ireland. Everybody understands the difficulties that that border poses and nobody wants to see a return to a hard border," he said.

"In order to resolve those issues and get it right for our peoples, it is necessary now to move on to the second stage of the negotiations which really entail so many of the questions that are bound up with the border issue."

However, Mr Coveney said they still needed greater "clarity" of the UK's proposals for dealing with the border issue before the talks could move on to phase two.

"We all want to move on to phase two of the Brexit negotiations but we are not in a place right now that allows us to do that," he said.

"We also have very serious issues in phase one, particularly around the border and the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process that need more clarity than we currently have."

Separately Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is meeting British Prime Minister Theresa May in Gothenburg today.

Press Association

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